Jaguar plans all-wheel drive on XF, XJ sedans

Jaguar will sell all-wheel-drive versions of its XF and XJ luxury sedans in Europe starting early next year, the company has announced.

It’s the first time that the British marque has offered the option since it stopped making the smaller X-Type sedan and wagon in 2008. The move marks another step by the Tata Motors-owned brand’s bid to make itself more competitive against better-selling German premium rivals, which all offer awd variants.

Jaguar’s awd system will be sold with the 3.0-liter six-cylinder supercharged 340-hp gasoline engine for both the XF and XJ and will cost an additional $3,000 (2,430 euros) in the United States when the 2013 versions of the cars debut there. No European price for the awd system was given.

The awd system initially will not be mated with Jaguar’s diesel powertrain, but the brand wasn’t ruling it out in the future, a Jaguar spokesperson said.

David Pryor, brand vice president of Jaguar North America, said the United States will be the brand’s primary market for awd and is expected to account for 80 percent of worldwide production of the drivetrain. "It is so critical for our success here," Pryor said.

Russia will be another important market as Jaguar predicts awd cars will account for 70 percent of XF and XJ sales there. The cars also will go to China, but awd variants of the XF and XJ won’t be sold in Jaguar’s home market of the UK.

30.August 2012